Something I’ve observed over the years:
Women who have a lot of sex, even when it is of their choosing, are regarded either as sluts or as sex-crazed degenerates, if not both. Notice that in popular culture, women who pursue sexuality are usually portrayed as femme fatales, villains, psychos, or otherwise unusual cases.
So for women, having “too much sex” or being sexual in any way is a bad thing. They’re taught to value virginity and sexual prudence above all else, whether they like it or not (mind you, there’s nothing wrong if a woman genuinely likes such things, just if they’re forced).
Men (who, mind you, don’t have it anywhere near as hard as women in this regard) nonetheless suffer the opposite problem: patriarchy makes it so that a man’s status is partly contingent upon whether he asserts his heterosexuality. A man who is queer, feminine, or gay is often ostracized for lacking “manliness” just because they’re not attracted to females.
In any case, men who fail either at getting a partner or having some sort of sexual relationship are looked down upon. I experienced this attitude during my single-hood, and I’ve seen other men struggle with an inferiority complex due to their lack of success with women (similarly, some men with girlfriends develop a superiority complex over their male peers who are single).
In short, patriarchy punishes women for being sexual (even if they are responsible, independent, and perfectly happy about it) and punishes men for not being (hetero)sexual enough (which may partly account for chauvinistic and sexually abusive behavior). I think feminists are right to assert that patriarchal attitudes are detrimental to both sexes. What do you all think?
EDIT: It’s been argued that there is an evolutionary aspect to these attitudes: men who fail to propagate their genes are, for obvious reasons, deemed failures as far as biology is concerned; similarly, women who give competing men the opportunity to spread their genes are looked down upon for their promiscuity for similar reasons. I’m not not sure how much stock to put into these explanations, but they’re something to consider.
- adorably-evil likes this
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- irishsaints said: also, an interesting thought: society condemns women for having “too much sex”, and yet, if by a certain age we still have our virginity, we’re considered prude, cold, and for some reason, still called “sluts”- often a lose/lose situation for us
- irishsaints answered: i agree entirely- if there’s one thing being a women’s college has taught me, its that patriarchy is not the absolute end-all, be-all.
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- nautilo answered: you are absolutely correct
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- crudo-soy answered: I fully agree with this. I think people should have the amount of sex they want, but protected!
- eupraxsophy posted this